My mind is a dangerous place. Make sure you wear a cup.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Cops, Carcasses, and Car Problems...

This is a PYLP (Pack Your Lunch Post) but it could have been longer. I can't read some of my notes and I had planned to put in pictures of each town but I just dont have the time or energy. You can imagine them, if you want.

The car was packed. I was comfortably attired in blue shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. I always wear a Hawaiian shirt on travel days. And I prefer to drive barefoot, although I had my trusty Birkenstocks for when I had to venture outside the mighty Impala.

After a multitude of hugs and kisses from Mrs. Fab, I put the car in gear and was off!

8:58 AM: I Pull out of the driveway. Get about 300 feet and see an older couple out pushing a baby carriage that contains a dog. Whenever I see them I always wonder what the point is. The dog isn't getting any exercise. What does he get out of it?

9:02 AM: I get onto I-75 N.

9:07 AM: I see the first of what will doubtless be several anti-abortion billboards. You can't swing a dead cat on I-75 without hitting an anti-abortion billboard. Of course, if people started swinging dead cats, no doubt billboards would be erected about that.

9:14 AM: I am in the mood to sing, so I load up a John Hiatt playlist on my iPod and go nuts.

9:25 AM: Ah, the first of what will prove to be many Jesus billboards. You've got to love the bible belt!

9:39 AM: I get onto I-10 W. This is the worst part of the trip. I-10 is boring. And it's a long way to exit 130 where I get off.

9:40 AM: There is a hitchhiker on the highway. His aura emanates "troubled loner". I do not pick him up.

9:59 AM: I pass a guy in a Sebring convertible with the top down. The knucklehead is leaning way back in his seat with one foot way up on the dashboard. I resist the urge to pull in front of him and jam on the brakes. I give myself a mental pat on the back for showing such restraint.

10:13 AM: I notice in my rear view that the convertible is gaining on me. I ratchet up the cruise control another five MPH to put some distance between us. I am not sure I can count on myself to show restraint a second time.

10:23 AM: I pass a van for a company that specializes in Treasure Hunting. I never heard of that before. I was so busy reading the sign that I start to go off the road. I correct the car.

10:47 AM: I reach Tallahassee. Ugh. Enemy territory, if you live in Gainesville.

10:51 AM: There is what appears to be a 4 foot metal ladder in the middle of the highway. You don't see that every day.

10:57 AM: I pull off to get lunch. I know it's early, but I ate breakfast early, and there is a Steak and Shake off this exit according to the signs, and now I have a taste for a steakburger. However, there is all kinds of construction and I take a lot of wrong turns and have to backtrack a lot before I can get to the restaurant. I feel that I am wasting time. Finally I get there and get my food. I order a burger, fries, and a soda and the receipt is over a foot long. What is up with that?

11:13 AM: Back on the road. The fries are so-so, but the Frisco Burger is heavenly. Life is good again.

11:29 AM: There are cars on the road with license plates from all over the country. Every once in a while I wonder about all the people in those cars. What are their stories? Where are they going? What brought them here to this place at this time? And then I realize I don't really give a shit.

11:42 AM becomes 10:42 AM as I cross the Apalachicola River. So I guess I'm going back in time. But I don't feel any younger. Thirty more miles before I can get off this damn highway.

11:05 AM: I get on SR 231 N. I'll be on here until I hit Montgomery.

11:08 AM: I hit Cottondale, Florida. Always watch out for the speedtrap in Cottondale. The speed limit goes from 55 to 35 in the time it takes me to unzip my fly. Cottondale is a depressing little town. I am positive that everyone who lives there was born there. No one moves to Cottondale.

11:23 AM: I cross into Alabama, where incest and bestiality are the norm. And gum disease. Don't forget gum disease. Although I notice gas is about a quarter cheaper here than in Florida. So if you want to spend less on gas, and are willing to fuck your toothless cousin to do it, Alabama is the state for you.

11:29 AM: I see the first heavy handed religious billboard. Something about 666 and the Mark of the Beast. I have to hand it to Alabama, no one does over the top religious billboards like they do.

11:33 AM: I pass the site for the National Peanut Festival. These people love their peanuts. This signals my coming into Dothan. Dothan is where you can lose some time, partly because you have to go through so many lights, and partly because every third vehicle is a pick up truck that is loaded up with stuff that is not tied down correctly, so they can't go faster than 30 MPH.

11:59 AM; I pass the Tool Box 2, which is a strip club as you leave Dothan. It promises Go Go and Exotic Dancers. I don't know what passes for an exotic dancer in Dothan, Alabama and I don't want to know.

12:10 PM: I reach Ozark, Alabama. I am pretty sure there are guys who are their own father in Ozark.

12:18 PM: I cross the Pea River. I don't see any peas. Or any vegetables down there at all.

12:23 PM: I go past a metal sculpture shop that has a giant metal chicken out front. This is how I know I am close to my pit stop.

12:27 PM: I reach Brundidge, which bills itself as the Antique City of Alabama. Fascinating. I pull in to the gas station that is my usual stopping point. I don't know why I always come here. They don't carry the water I like, and the bathroom is usually a nightmare. But I am a creature of habit.

Sure enough, I have to get Springtime water because they have no Dasani. And the bathroom is icky plus the door is broken and won't lock. Luckily no one comes in while I am peeing.

The cashiers in the store are among the most singularly unattractive people I have ever seen in my life. My penis reaches a state of flacidity heretofore unknown.

12:27 pm: Back on the road. As expected, the water sucks. The label says it was bottled somewhere in Georgia, but I'm pretty sure the source must be the River Styx.

12:43 PM: I pass the Cattleman's Association. There is a giant metal cow out front. Okay, so Alabama is the home to incest, bestiality, and giant metal animals. I make a mental note.

1:02 PM: There is a sign pointing down a side road that states "Trucker Family Reunion Site." The pull to investigate is strong, but I focus on the task at hand.

1:21 PM: After making up some time between Troy and Montgomery, I turn right at the Phillips 66 and head down Taylor Road to get back on another highway. I hate Montgomery. It's dull and gray and depressing. Montgomery is a perfect city to check into a dingy motel and kill yourself. I make another mental note.

1:28 PM: I get on I-85 S. I always have to remember to go south, not north, even though I am headed north. You have to go a little ways south on 85 to go north on 65. See how screwed up Alabama is? Black is white, up is down, in is out.

1:36 PM: I get on I-65 N. This is the second longest stretch of highway on my journey. I should be able to make up ground here. I dispense with the cruise control and jockey for position.

1:49 PM: I listen to the Born to Run album on my iPod. It reminds me of my favorite line in the Sopranos' season before last, when Christopher arrives late for a meeting and when Tony calls him on it he says "Sorry, the highway was jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive."

2:05 PM: I cross over Walnut Creek. I don't see any walnut trees.

2:06 PM: I realize that I don't know what walnut trees look like.

2:18 PM: I pass a Chevy Tahoe with writing on the back window: "Just hitched. We can do it now!" Ahh, young love.

2:20 PM: I pass a laundry basket on the side of the road. First time I've seen one of those.

2:28 PM: I think I forgot my toothbrush.

2:31 PM: I hate everyone in Tennessee. This is the fifth car with TN plates since I started that won't move out of the far left lane. Refuses to. I have had to go around all of them. Stupid Tennessee.

2:37 PM: It looks like rain. Shit.

2:39 PM: It starts to rain. Motherfucker.

2:41 PM: I pass exit 255, which is where I would get off if I were going to the Birmingham branch.

2:44 PM: The rain starts to come down so heavily that I am forced to slow down to 45-50 MPH. There goes the time I made up. Why do these things always happen to me? This sucks!

2:47 PM: The rain stops and the sun is out. What was I so worried about?

2:52 PM. My notes say "RR Hwy". I don't know what that means. I hope it wasn't funny. I am having to leave out about 10% - 15% of my notes because I can't read them. It's not easy taking notes while you're driving, you know.

2:58 PM: Oh. My. God. A Tennessee car actually yields the left lane. He must not have gotten the memo.

3:05 PM: I am starting to get into terrain that reminds me of Western Massachusetts, where I grew up. Lots of hills and highways carved out of rock. I never really notice how flat Florida is until I go somewhere that is hilly.

3:08 PM: A truck in front of my hits some wood in the middle of the road and a small piece of wood slams into the front of my car. That reminds me, I still need to check to see if there is any damage.

3:16 PM: For third time in the trip the warning ding sounds because I have left the turn signal on. It's not my fault. The turn signals are very quiet in this car.

3:28 PM: On the side of the road a car has been pulled over by a cop. It has Tennessee plates. Hahahahahahaha.

3:46 PM: I pull off onto 565 E. I am in the home stretch now.

3:58 PM: I get off onto 255 N. There is a second access loop I have to take, so I want to move right, but there is a car in that lane that wants to move left. The prudent move would have been to drop back and let him move first, but I gun it and cross in front of him. Unfortunately I can't slow down fast enough and I hit the loop going about 55 instead of 25 and for one sickening moment I think the car is going to slide off the road. But it doesn't. I'm such a good driver.

4:01 PM: Is this 72 E? It looks like 565 again. Shit, I always do this up here. No, wait. There is a sign stating this is 72. Whew!

4:03 PM: I get onto University Avenue.

4:05: PM: I have arrived! Not too shabby. Eight hours and three minutes. I really had to push the envelope on I-65 to do it, though.

4:38 PM: All settled in. There is a convenience store and two restaurants right next door. The room is great. The fridge is now stocked, the computer set up, and all my stuff unpacked. I took pictures of my luggage and toiletry bag, but I can't figure out how to send them from my cell phone to my computer yet. I'll get to it.

Actually, I wish I had brought a camera. There were many good photo ops along the way.

It turns out I remembered my toothbrush.

Let the work week begin!

I'm ready to go back.

I listened to three new releases during the trip:

The new Dixie Chicks album B+
The Pussycat Dolls B- (I should have just downloaded the single Don't cha)
The new Robert Earl Keen album A- (he's back!)

Oh, and the title of the post? You thought it had something to do with me? No. Those were the three things I kept track of during the journey:

Cars broken down on the side of the road: 38
Squished animals in various states of decomposition: 26
Cars stopped by law enforcement personnel: 7

Hey, it passes the time.


Blogger Annie Drogynous said...

O. M. G. I think I laughed the hardest when you laughed at the TN car being pulled over.

I should do this on my next trip. When I was headed up to Atlanta I heard about the annual Redneck Games on the radio where they would be having events like hurling hubcaps and I thought "Now THAT would be something to see.".

6:39 AM  
Blogger Shelli said...

Fascinating. Riveting play by play. ;)

6:44 AM  
Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

LOL. Man, you can make a usually boring 8 hour drive so entertaining to read!

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Kyle Korleski said...

9:39AM I am all too familiar with I-10. After all, it reaches a very long way, but it's not as long as TransCanada 1.

10:23AM Easily. They use a metal detector to find all sorts of things. Rare coins, a wedding ring on the finger bone of the former wife of the previous owner of the house.

10:47AM Is it anything like travelling through Quebec?

11:13AM If it's anything like eating at Harvey's I know what you mean.

11:29AM What would you think if you saw an Albertan licence plate?

11:23AM Isn't that like Texas?

11:59AM Someone with all their original teeth.

12:27PM Because you have to piss like a racehorse and don't give a damn about the restroom. Pesallt I think bottled water is a waste but considering your geographical location, the ability to get clean drinking water is questionable.

12:27PM Right before you get to the gatekeeper of Neptune?

1:28PM Black is white, up is down, in is out, Your cousin is your spouse.

2:18PM <sarcasm>Yeaaah, that relationship will last a long time. </sarcasm>

3:05PM I think that's how the good people of Saskatchewan feel when they travel.

7:17 AM  
Blogger kattbanjo said...

travel sounds sooo much more exciting when you tell it. You need to up the diffficulty level and travel with my children in the backseat screaming..

7:19 AM  
Blogger Pud said...

Wow! This was a long post. Atleast you keep yourself entertained.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

Oooh, you must tell me when it happens again. That is must see!

Shelli--Sarcasm! I am telling mom!

CS--Let's all do a road trip together!

Kyle--LMFAO. You funny bastard, well done.

Katt--I welcome that challenge!

Pud--And I did it all without masturbating!

7:30 AM  
Blogger Motor City Monk said...

8 hours alone in a car w/out masturbating? You're a much stronger man than I.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Big Pissy said...

I can't believe you were so close to Hell and you didn't stop by the casa!

Dothan is only around 30 mins away!

and Brundidge? Even closer.

Although I've never been there. I had too many deadbeats from Brundidge put in jail back in my DA days.....

fun post~as usual! :)

8:29 AM  
Blogger Spider Walk said...

As you know, I prefer to fly. But from what I gather, I am missing out on A LOT by doing so!

Be safe, and keep us posted :)

8:44 AM  
Blogger Maritza said...

A road trip through the south was one of my dreams. I want to drive to Biloxi, Oxford and Beauford but after reading this....well, I'm not so sure anymore.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

Motor City Monk--Well, I thought we had already established that :)

Pissy--Oh man, that would have been a good idea. I will check with Mrs. Fab for next time, although I don't know if she'll let me leave even earlier...

Spidey--Road trips are always the way to go :)

Maritza--Actually there is a lot of beauty in the south as well. But beauty isn't funny :)

9:15 AM  
Blogger Finn said...

Hey, you made it out of Florida, which is a feat unto itself. I've done that drive, right into Slidell, La. From Ft. Lauderdale. It wasn't pretty. Alabama scares me.

Have a good week!

9:31 AM  
Blogger Nobody said...

Don't try to bullshit me, I know what you did with that hitchiker.

9:36 AM  
Blogger ❉ pixie ❉ said...

What you need is one of those mini tape recorders. Then, instead of trying to write notes on the highway, you could just speak what you are thinking and listen to it later. I bet that would be easier to decipher.

I'm constantly wishing I had one in the car—it seems a lot of my awesome creative ideas spring forth there.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only 38 broken down cars? I can see that many on my 30-minute trip to work...

A note to Maritza: The trip to Oxford is well worth it; it's a beautiful town. And as for Biloxi, there's still a lot of wreckage from Katrina, but it's coming back!

9:54 AM  
Anonymous TJ said...

Its not often you get a play-by-play account of a business trip.

There is a reason for that. . .

9:55 AM  
Blogger kristi said...

I am so jealous of your trip....I am originally from exit 205 off of I-65 in the great state of Alabama (two exits before the peach water tower)!!! You have got to hand it to good ol Bama, they are one bassakwards state!!!

10:25 AM  
Blogger Bluepaintred said...

wow I totally stopped reading when the time traveling started... maybe I will have enought coffee in me by nap time to finish...

10:38 AM  
Blogger D said...

I'm about to go on a roadtrip this week, I could blog about it now. But as Kyle mentioned... this is how it would sound:

6am: Get on Trans-Canada Hwy.

7.23am: See dead deer

8.19am: Almost get run off the road by semi

9.57am: Drive through small town that consists of gas station and curling rink

10.18am: See dead thing.

11.27am: Stop for gas with truckers.

1:39pm: See dead skunk.

3:00pm: Wonder if you are about to drive off the end of the world.

5.21pm: Contemplate driving off the road out of boredom.

5.37pm: See dead deer.

10:43 AM  
Blogger michele said...

A play by play of a 8 hour
business trip,only you can
make it sound exciting.26
dead animals that seems like
an excessive amount of road kill.

11:36 AM  
Blogger karaoke queen said...

LOL :)

11:38 AM  
Blogger speckledpup said...

I was gonna pack a lunch, but since you stopped at the Beef&Wiggle, just get me a chili five ways and a double steakburger.

Nice trip diary.
Really nice.
Especially, "my penis reached a state of flacidity previously unknown". That one'll be with me all day.

Lil Sis.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Webmiztris said...

"It promises Go Go and Exotic Dancers. I don't know what passes for an exotic dancer in Dothan, Alabama and I don't want to know."

But I do, I do! Dammit, you should have stopped! Then again, some things are better left a mystery. ;)

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! You took such details notes just for your readers! How did you write and drive at the same time? If I was driving down the road and saw someone doing that I would have felt like you did with the guy in the convertable.

The saying around here is you can not swing a dead cat without hitting a Dunkin Donuts. New Englanders are some donut eating fools!

So you have neighbors that walk their dog in a stroller huh? I feel better about myself then. Cause sometimes on a long walk my dog will get tired (once his feet bled) so I will pick him up at walk him in the true sense of the word!

So would you have picked up that hitchhiker if he did not like shady? You should not ever do that unless you wanna be in pieces in a suitcase on the side of the road!

1:33 PM  
Blogger Serra said...

About the guy in the convertible. You really should have given in to temptation--you may have lucked out and impaired his ability to make more dumbasses like himself.

1:33 PM  
Blogger zhadi said...

Why were you unzipping your fly on the road?

Enquiring minds and all...

1:37 PM  
Blogger Chelle said...

OMG...WHEN do you have time to actually do this thing called.....WORK!!! AHHHHHH!! lol

1:37 PM  
Blogger ablondeblogger said...

Phew! I feel like I was driving right along with you.

Now, question. Did you write these notes as you drove? Or did you tape record them? Or what?!!

1:52 PM  
Blogger Lynda said...

I wish you brought a camera too.

Why is it the most religious billboards are in the most incestuous states?

2:37 PM  
Blogger Lynda said...

Oh and Dasani all the way. Never settle for less.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Bluepaintred said...

My penis reaches a state of flacidity heretofore unknown.

and the funny thing is, I can picture this... 'course I picture it looking pretty much like a lemur tail.. but shorter.. and not so fluffy

2:46 PM  
Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

GREAT post. I laughed myself sick over the Ozark, AL comment!!! :D

3:40 PM  
Blogger Scarlett said...

I certainly see why your blog is so popular! Great writing style, engaging and fun to read! Plus it looks good! AND YOU LIKE BRUCE!

It doesn't get much better in blogworld. :)

3:58 PM  
Blogger Malnurtured Snay said...

Good reasons never to venture south of Arlington, VA.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Anne R. Key said...

In Alabama, an exotic dancer is one with a full set of teeth.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Maritza said...

Blogmad hit! Pull over!

5:08 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I'm so glad I live in New England
Long live the blue states!!!

5:12 PM  
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6:24 PM  
Blogger CP said...

Along with the Jesus billboards and the abortion billboards on many billboards did you see for that tacky truckstop whorehouse called "We Bare All"???


Boy do I have a story about that place for a blogpost.

Hm. Maybe during the Blogathon.

Must write that down.


6:26 PM  
Anonymous Shannon said...

I kept thinking of that movie, 'Wrong Turn' while reading this and waiting to hear that you were now in line to be flayed by some dude straight out of Deliverance.

Whew, glad you made it safely. :)

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Stefanie said...

You should consider sending this on to the Alabama Tourism Bureau for publication in their magazine or brochure or whatever... really paints a lovely picture of beautiful, ass-backwards 'bama. :)

My favorite... 11:29am. I find myself doing that all the time & ultimately, having the same thought...I really don't give a shit.

Hope the hotel has some cool freebie shampoos and soaps.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

hahahha, I think I pissed my pants reading this!! (wait, is that horribly unlady like to say?!?!?!) You absolutely crack me up. You ARE fabulous, Mr. Fabulous. ;)

AND, I agree - Dixie Chicks CD is definitively a B+ to A-. Much better than their last one!

8:16 PM  
Blogger Ocean said...

lol That was funny. Interesting read, I enjoyed the ride :)

9:31 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

It is always fun to count the different kind of dead and bloated animals along the road.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Sandi said...

Wonder what you would see and blog about if you came up to MNPLS with me and Chelle???
Now THAT would be a fun trip! lol.. and no work.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

Megan--Yes, be afraid, be very afraid..

Mike--Great. Now I have to kill YOU

Pixie--Actually, I have one of those, and my PDA but I guess I'm old school LOL

Tense Teacher---Well sure, there are no rules in Mississippi. Nice catfish farms though :) back...LOL

Kristi--Well heck, come along next time, girl!

Bluepaintred--Baby steps...

D--Can you send me a dead deer, please? They make good doorstops.

Michele--Seemed like a lot to me too. Next time I'll take pictures.

KQueen-- :)

Pup--I was thinking of posting a photo but decided against it..

Webmiztris--It didn't open till later. But next time...

Mimi--Well that makes sense. We don't want the little guys paws to bleed, poor thing...And actually I think hitchikers should be worried about me!

Serra--I can't save the world LOL

Chelle--Work? Hmmm?

Zhadi--Some things are best left a mystery..

ABB--all notes on paper LOL

Lynda--I guess they need the most forgiving! And right on about the Dasani, girlfriend!

Bluepaintred--I can arrange a picture if you want...

Saur--Stay far away from it! LOL

Scarlett--You are so kind, bless your heart! Thanks for coming by!

MSnay--I can't disagree with that!

Maritza--The light was yellow!

Jen--I've done my time up there. It's boring LOL


CP--You, me, Mrs. Fab, and the Hotband at Cafe Risque. Let's make it happen! LOL

Shannon--That sounds kinda exciting...

Stefanie--I can send you some if you want...

Rebecca--I love me some Dixie Chicks!

9:52 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

I loved this post!! It's a great idea to take notes on a long trip. I totally should have done that on my road trips this summer!

10:12 PM  
Blogger shirley said...

Blogmad traffic cop - beep beep!

10:17 PM  
Blogger merlinprincesse said...

You should write a book... :)

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Eric T. said...

One of your best posts! I actually wish it had kept going. Hopefully you'll do another on the trip back to FLA.
By the way, on my way back from North Carolina this weekend, I ran into the same TN drivers you did. Whose running drivers ed in that state.... Stevie Wonder and Britany Spears?

10:41 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

Ocean--Thank you my friend!

Lori--Oh yes, the bloating makes it all worthwhile!

Sandi--I wish I could be up there with you guys! You ladies are gonna have a BLAST!

Amber--Welcome back! Hope you had an awesome time!

Eric--I didn't know you were in NC. You didn't ask my permission...

Shirley--Go around! LOL

MP--Maybe one day I will. It sounds like a lot of work, though!

10:59 PM  
Blogger marty said...

Do you think you will see the exact same things on the way back? You will recap, of course?

11:34 PM  
Blogger shirley said...

Blogmad traffic jam - honk honk!

11:39 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

...beyond Fabulous. You Have to write a Travel Book, you'd be sooo rich!
Can you please sign my copy?

1:27 AM  
Blogger Suze said...

Thanks for the detailed account, I felt like I was with you every stretch of the way. Although I'm glad I wasn't considering the detail of your notes. Did you spend anytime looking at the road ahead? LOL

I Also want to know why at 11:08 you were unzipping your fies. ;)

9:50 AM  
Blogger Tenacious T said...

Know look here Mr. Fab. You are talkin' bout my home state. And they may be toothless objects of incest, but aren't they the nicest people you have ever met?? ;)

2:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your website. It has a lot of great pictures and is very informative.

3:10 AM  

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